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Supreme Court creates civil legal services commission

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Providing access to civil legal services for low-income Hoosiers will be the focus of a commission established by order of the Indiana Supreme Court.

The order dated Sept. 23 and posted on the court’s website Wednesday outlines a commission that advocates have proposed for improving access to justice. The body will be known as the Indiana Commission to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services.

The 17-member commission is tasked with developing a five-year plan to “improve and enhance the availability and effective provision of civil legal services to low-income or otherwise disadvantaged Indiana residents,” according to the order. This must be done within a year of the group’s initial meeting.

The commission also is chartered to recommend improvements in “communications, promptness, efficiency, courtesy, and other qualities of service” to court users.

“A group of Indiana stakeholders has approached the Indiana Supreme Court and urged the Court to create a broad-based commission to work toward a goal of expanding the availability and provision of civil legal services to Indiana residents with limited financial resources,” the order says, noting more than half the states have such panels commonly referred to as “access to justice” commissions.

The commission will meet at least quarterly and meetings will be open to the public. The Supreme Court will appoint members according to the composition of the commission outlined in the order, and the court also will select the group’s initial chair and vice-chair.

“The establishment of the Commission is not intended to replace other entities offering services supporting the availability of legal services to poor or other disadvantaged Indiana residents,” the order says, noting it will cooperate with other various stakeholders.



 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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